South East Round-up: Record-breaking weekend at World of Golf

The Scoop

Our round-up of the latest club news from the South East.

The World of Golf driving range in New Malden, south-west London, celebrated its busiest-ever Easter period with 330,000 balls hit over the holiday period.

The news follows a record-breaking year in 2014 with 14 million balls being hit, confirming its status as Europe’s busiest driving range.

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“The number of golfers we had during the Easter period exceeded our expectations with record numbers using the range, performance centre and short game area,” said World of Golf CEO Grant Wright. “We’re seeing a whole range of players using the facilities from those in the beginner’s programmes to the Tour-standard golfer which is wonderful for the game.”
‘We’re seeing a range of players using the facilities…which is wonderful for the game.’ More than 3,000 golfers were introduced to the game last year through the successful free-of-charge beginner’s programme, as well as 4,000 children through the junior classes, both headed up by PGA South coach of the year Jon Woodroffe.

Exclusive course opens for WW2 Sweetheart’s charity day

The members only Waterfall course at Mannings Heath in Horsham is to open on May 13.

The club is opening its doors for an open day to raise funds for the Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Events fund-raiser Catherine Bristow said: “We are thrilled to be holding our charity day at Mannings Heath. Last year the event raised over £2,000 and we hope we can replicate this success in 2015.

“Fund-raising events like these are crucial for us to be able to continue our work, and we’d like to extend our thanks to the team at Mannings Heath and all those taking part for making this event possible.”

Among the prizes on offer for the day is a car and a holiday courtesy of Five Oaks Audi.

Five-year-old heading to world championship in the USA

Arthur Saunders, who plays at Littlestone, has earned himself a place in the IMG Academy Junior World Championship in San Diego, despite only being five years old.

The youngster finished second in the Boys 6 and Under division of the British Junior Golf Tour and will now head out to America for the tournament in July.

“It’s not just Arthur’s natural talent that has led to his success, but his absolute dedication and passion which all comes from him,” said coach Charlie Wilson. “The only time I’ve seen Arthur cry is when his mum comes to take him home. His etiquette and knowledge of golf is fantastic and we have never seen a youngster of his age with such maturity and commitment to the game. He is quite extraordinary.”

Attending the championship will cost £4,500 and a golf day is being held to raise funds for the trip.

Hoebridge completes driving range rebuild

BGL Golf-owned Hoebridge has completed a £180,000 refurbishment of its driving range.

A large number of improvements have taken place, including the addition of pitching nets and distance markers, a pitching green, bespoke teaching bays and Wi-Fi provision.

General manager Mike O’Connell said: “We are very excited about these improvements to our driving range and feel sure customers will enjoy the opportunity to make use of what will be an extremely high-quality practice facility – the best in the area.”

England International Saunders sets records at home course

Michael Saunders has won the Watson Trophy for the fourth time at his home club, Dartford.

The England international defeated a field comprising of 45 Kent club champions, winning the trophy by a single shot.

Dartford captain Tony Leach told the News Shopper: “The course has never had so many spectators for any event, which underlined the quality and popularity of the tournament.”

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